Saturday, February 16, 2008

Polyclinics and The Green Party

From 5pm to 7pm today, in the Main Hall, there was a Policy Fair (30 minutes sitting as part of a group with a policy specialist, whistle blows, move to next table, insert speed dating joke here).

I attended from 6pm to 630pm, and I had Stuart Jeffrey, the health policy fellow, all to myself.

After some chit chat about physios at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Toronto, I picked his brain on polyclinics.

Lord Darzi's vision is chained to the idea of privatisation (US health corporations being invited in) and the continuation of the internal market of the NHS. His 25-doctor polyclinics would be for every 50 000 citizens.

We favour polyclinics as "an additional layer of care, rather than as a centralisation of services." They would be publically-run, under local control.

I firmly believe that we need to tackle things like blood services (try saying phlebotomy 3 times in a row after 3 pints), mental health, sexual health, and physiotherapy at the community level.

At, say, 20 000 citizens per Green Party polyclinic, that would be 18 polyclinics as an "additional layer of care" in a city the size of Coventry or Leicester, 60 in a city the size of Brum. Other services (e.g. out of hours casts for broken arms) might be at a level of 40 000 citizens, and in an average city of 250 000 people, we'd have a district hospital with all the operating theatres and CAT scanners.


weggis said...

Message to all contributors.
This is really good for the armchair member. Congrats to JJ- keep it coming.

Colchester said...

I thought the policy fair was really good. I attended two sessions - population and education - with about 8-10 people at each. Both were enlightening and stimulating.